In his home area of Berwyn/Chicago, Sven previously showcased the 1956 MGM sci-fi masterpiece on WCIU-TV 26/”The U” back in Nov. 1995; according to fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes and his official “Terror From Beyond the Dave” YouTube channel.
“Forbidden Planet” (1956) was directed by veteran MGM director Fred M. Wilcox (who was credited under his full name of Fred McLeod Wilcox, according to IMDB). The screenplay for “Forbidden Planet” (1956) was written by Cyril Hume and was adapted from Allen Adler and Irving Block’s story treatment. Adler and Block’s treatment was lifted from William Shakespeare’s play, “The Tempest.”
Who was in “Forbidden Planet” (1956)?
The players who appeared in “Forbidden Planet” were Walter Pidgeon (as Dr. Morbius), Anne Francis (as Altaira Morbius), young Leslie Nielsen (as Commander Adams), Jack Kelly (as Lt. Farman), Warren Stevens (as Lt. “Doc” Ostrow), Richard Anderson (as Chief Quinn), James Drury (as Crewman Strong), Earl Holliman (as the cook), George Wallace (as the Bosun), Robert “Bob” Dix (as Crewman Grey), Morgan Jones (as Crewman Nichols), Roger McGee (as Crewman Lindstrom), Les Tremayne (in an uncredited role as the opening narrator) and “Robby the Robot” (as himself, with Marvin Miller in an uncredited role as the voice of “Robby” and stunt performer Frankie Darro in the “Robby” costume).
Walter Pidgeon was known for his numerous film roles, including his role of Clem Miniver in William Wyler’s MGM production of “Mrs. Miniver” (1942, with Greer Garson), and Adm. Harriman Nelson in Irwin Allen’s Twentieth Century Fox feature production of “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1961, Allen’s aforementioned film inspired the hit 1964-68 series of the same name). Anne Francis appeared in numerous MGM productions, including her role of Anne Dadier in “Blackboard Jungle” (1955, with Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier, Vic Morrow and a pre-M*A*S*H Jamie Farr; who was credited under his original name of Jameel Farrah). One of Francis’ latter acting roles was her title role in Aaron Spelling’s Four Star-ABC detective series, “Honey West” (1965-66).
Leslie Nielson acted in numerous dramatic screen roles and later turned to comedic roles after his characterization of Dr. Rumack in the hit Jerry Zucker–Jim Abrahams–David Zucker Paramount comedy, “Airplane!” (1980). His other latter notable role was his characterization of detective Frank Drebin in the short-lived “Police Squad!” series (1980); which inspired Paramount’s “Naked Gun” film series (Nielsen reprised his role of Drebin in 1988, 1991 and 1994). Richard Anderson was known for his latter role of Oscar Goldman in “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1974-78, with Lee Majors) and “The Bionic Woman” (1976-78, with Lindsay Wagner). James Drury later appeared in the title role of the Universal/Revue-MCA TV adaptation of “The Virginian” (1962-71).
MGM’s first major science fiction production
According to Lang Thompson’s article on “Forbidden Planet” for Turner Classic Movies, this was one of the first science fiction features for MGM. Studio executives implemented a $1 million budget for the overall production of the film. Allen Adler and Irving Block convinced studio officials by doing their own mock performance of their story treatment.
“Top Secret” sound stages for “Forbidden Planet” at MGM’s Culver City lot*
Production officials decided to keep several “Forbidden Planet” set areas off limits to the general public due to the “space-age” prop designs, according to the American Film Institute’s article on Fred M. Wilcox’s feature. Over 89,000+ square feet of sound stage space was used at MGM’s famed studio lot in Culver City, California* for the filming of “Forbidden Planet” (with additional electrical wiring for the spacecraft-based interiors and the Krell laboratory setting).
Louis & Bebe Barron’s signature “Forbidden Planet” source electronic music score
Wilcox’s 1956 MGM production had the distinction of being one of the first major motion pictures with an all-electronic source music score by experimental music composers Louis and Bebe Barron, according Susan Stone’s 2005 NPR article on the duo. The studio was unsure about using their electronic score until a preview screening of “Forbidden Planet,” according to Thompson’s TCM article.
“Robby the Robot” and his post-“Forbidden Planet” appearances
After the success of “Forbidden Planet,” Kinoshita’s “Robby” creation also appeared in MGM’s sci-fi/fantasy comedy, “The Invisible Boy” (1957, with Richard Eyer and Philip Abbott) and in an episode of the studio’s TV adaptation of “The Thin Man” (1958, with Peter Lawford, Phyllis Kirk and “Asta”). Kinoshita’s “Robby” creation later appeared in non-MGM productions, including two episodes of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” (1963 and 1964), several episodes of Irwin Allen’s “Lost In Space” (1966 and 1967, Kinoshita also created the “Robot” creation for Allen’s series), an episode of “Wonder Woman” with Lynda Carter (1979) and Joe Dante’s “Gremlins” (1984).
Be sure to watch/record Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “Forbidden Planet” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, young Leslie Nielsen, Richard Anderson, James Drury, Earl Holliman, Jack Kelly, Robert “Bob” Dix, Morgan Jones, George Wallace, Roger McGee, the vocal stylings of Les Tremayne, Robert Kinoshita’s “Robby the Robot” design maneuvered by Frankie Darro with the vocal stylings of Marvin Miller; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast broadcast premiere of “Forbidden Planet” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV! Perfect for all fellow super SvenPals and fellow sci-fi film aficionados everywhere with the Academy Award-nominated special effects of A. Arnold Gillespie, Wesley C. Miller, and Irving G. Ries; the famed “Id Monster” animated effects of Joshua Meador (who was on loan from Walt Disney Studios for the 1956 MGM feature) with Sven’s extensive fun facts, Doug Graves’ parody tune and Kerwyn’s “mail” call segment!” With the magic of Sven, see 1956 classic that set the pace for modern sci-fi features and TV shows! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet with all fellow super SvenPals everywhere (via Twitter) this Sat. during #Svengoolie’s big coast-to-coast Me-TV broadcast premiere of “Forbidden Planet” (1956)!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Chicago/Berwyn/Rosemont, Illinois and beyond! Sven will be making an upcoming appearance at the 2019 “Flashback Weekend Horror Convention” festival at the Crowne Plaza/Chicago O’Hare Hotel (5440 N. River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018) on Fri., Aug. 2 (with a professional celebrity photo-op w/Sven and a “Sven coffin” background at 6:30 p.m., local time**; a Sven/Mr. Rich Koz 40th anniversary on-stage retrospective with WGN Radio’s Nick Digilio in the Crowne Plaza ballroom at 7 p.m., local time) and Sat., Aug. 3 (second professional celebrity photo-op w/Sven and a “Sven coffin” background at 1:45 p.m., local time**; Sven’s meet-and-greet photo/autograph session at the Ideation Lounge from 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., local time and Sven’s hosting of the “Sinister Visions” costume contest at the convention in the Crowne Plaza Ballroom 1 at 4:15 p.m., local time)! For VIP “Flashback Weekend” ticket holders (according to Sven’s official site), Sven will also have an early evening meet-and-greet event at the Murray Bros. Caddyshack® Restaurant (9546 Balmoral Ave, Rosemont, IL 60018)!
To fellow super SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago/Rosemont, Illinois and beyond who are attending the 2019 “Flashback Weekend Horror Convention,” have fun seeing Sven in person and enjoy Sven’s 40th anniversary retrospective along with the “Flashback Weekend” festivities at the convention! –C.H.
Cameo mentions of fellow super SvenPals!
Extra! Extra! Extra! (Around the 1:08 mark): After taking a closer look at Sven’s July 20 big broadcast showcase of Bert I. Gordon’s “Village of the Giants” (1965, originally aired in Jan. 2019 on Me-TV) with footage of Sven and Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon’s live “Nightmare on Chicago Street 2018” concert rendition of their hit 2016 song, “The Svengoolie Stomp;” a fellow super SvenPal had a cameo appearance in the segment! Fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast jumped for joy when they saw fellow super SvenPal David Fuentes of “Terror from Beyond the Dave” fame during Sven’s highlights of his legendary “Nightmare on Chicago Street 2018” appearance with the legendary Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon!
Congratulations to David from the entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast super Svengoolie SvenPals on seeing Sven & Freddy during their “Nightmare on Chicago Street” 2018 appearance and on being featured during Sven’s segment during “Village of the Giants!” Three cheers and two thumbs up! We’re all proud of you! Peace, kudos and “Hi-Keeba” from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Chicago/Berwyn/Antioch and beyond! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee will be appearing in the role of Isabel with the PM&L players ensemble for the PM&L Theatre stage rendition of the critically acclaimed Gilbert & Sullivan comedic musical operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance (or The Slave of Duty)!” Directed by Mark Audrain for the PM&L troupe, Jamie and the PM&L players’ first big week of “The Pirates of Penzance” (or The Slave of Duty) will occur this Fri., July 26 at 8 p.m. (local time) at the PM&L Theatre complex (877 N. Main St., Antioch, Illinois 60002)! Additional performances will occur on Sat., July 27 at 8 p.m. (local time); Sun,, July 28 at 2:30 p.m. (local time); Fri., Aug. 2/Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. (local time); Sat., Aug. 3/Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. (local time) and Sun., Aug. 4/Aug. 11 at 2:30 p.m. (local time)! Tickets can be purchased online via Vendini and through the PM&L Theatre box office (ticket prices are $15 and $18).
Congratulations to Jamie and the entire PM&L troupe ensemble on their upcoming/swashbuckling PM&L stage renditions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance (or The Slave of Duty” from the entire crowd of fellow coast-to-coast super SvenPals everywhere! We fellow super SvenPals are proud of you! Three cheers and two thumbs up! Kudos, peace, “Hi-Keeba” and enjoy from the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals everywhere! -C.H.
In connection to “Forbidden Planet” (1956):
“Forbidden Planet” (1956) is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (part of the studio’s Turner Entertainment/pre-1986 MGM holdings)*. The film is also available for streaming from Warners* on particiapting streaming and video-on demand services.
*Sidebar: Part of Warners’ ownership of the Turner Entertainment/pre-1986 MGM film, TV, cartoon and short subject holdings; Time Warner/the future Warner Media merged with Ted Turner’s media/cable properties in 1996; Turner purchased the aforementioned classic MGM holdings around summer 1986 after his brief ownership of MGM. -C.H.
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